Relationship expert reveals the seven lessons Bridgerton teaches us about modern love
~ A relationship expert has revealed the seven lessons the global TV phenomenon Bridgerton can teach us about modern love, and why things haven’t changed all that much in the dating world from 19th century Regency England.
Louanne Ward, from Perth, said when it comes to love, we are actually not that dissimilar to Daphne and Simon in Bridgerton, albeit without the lavish lifestyles and elaborate costume dress.
From the timeless ways in which we express our love to the way that gossip and lies can still dominate dating and social circles, matchmaker Louanne Ward revealed the seven modern love lessons you can take away from the Netflix series.
An expert revealed lessons Bridgerton teaches us about modern love, and why things haven’t changed in the dating world from 19th century Regency England (Louanne Ward pictured)
While Louanne said love is very similar to how it was in the 19th century, the way we court or ‘hook up’ in 2021 has altered significantly (Daphne and Simon pictured courting in Bridgerton)
1. Love hasn’t changed, but the way we court has
While Louanne said love is very similar to how it was in the 19th century, the way we court or ‘hook up’ in 2021 has altered significantly.
‘While in the Bridgerton days, courting was a formal, impersonal, transactional process, we now court and “hook up” with hundreds of potential love interests with the swipe of an app,’ Louanne told FEMAIL.
Handwritten love letters have been replaced with non-stop texting or Whatsapping, and in 2021, men and women leave their ‘options open and their emotions closed’.
‘Playing hard to get is now a way to flirt, and in the modern competition for love, attention is the prime commodity, rather than regal status,’ Louanne said.
The fundamental feeling of love and how we express it remains universal, Louanne added, but Bridgerton teaches us that its conventions in the 21st century are far removed from those of our ancestors.
There are some similarities to the challenges faced in the Bridgerton era, however.
‘Sleeping with women out of wedlock was acceptable for men in Bridgerton and still is, but in modern times people continue to cast judgement disproportionately on women who do the same,’ Louanne said.
Gossip remains as key in 2021 as it did in Regency England; everyone in Bridgerton keeps up with the goings on via Lady Whistledown’s gossip publication (Fetherington family pictured)
2. Gossip still exists in 2021
As in Bridgerton, today gossiping still remains central to our existence.
‘This means whether it’s the goings on in the Bridgerton and Fetherington family homes or stalking your ex’s latest fling on Instagram, we just can’t resist peeking into other people’s lives,’ Louanne said.
Gossip and judging others has been going on since the beginning of time, and Louanne said while in Bridgerton they used to hide behind ‘frocks and jewellery’, nowadays we hide behind lavish social media profiles that show holidays, great lifestyles and overly filtered images.
‘In Bridgerton, the characters wait for the “gossip rag” that is Lady Whistledown’s publication to tell them what is happening, but in 2021 we now have minute by minute access through digital and social media to scandals, gossip and tragedy,’ Louanne said.
This, if anything, has made us ‘more bloodthirsty for the perfect disaster of other people’s lives’.
In both centuries, the dating expert said we always try to present the best version of ourselves to a potential partner.
‘The only difference is what that best version looks like,’ she said.
You can’t build love with betrayal, as Marina Thompson (pictured) finds out when she captures Colin Bridgerton’s heart, only to lure him into a trap to marry her based on lies
3. You can’t build love with lies and betrayal
This sentiment is as true in 2021 as it was in the 19th century, and it’s played out in Bridgerton when Marina Thompson captures Colin Bridgerton’s heart, only to lure him into a trap to marry her without telling him she is pregnant.
‘Your parents probably told you a thousand times that the truth is better than a lie, but the adage rings true to this day: honesty really is the best policy,’ Louanne said.
In modern courtship, the same rule applies.
‘Even lying on a dating profile is a recipe for disaster – with many matches able to know more about you than your great aunt before the first date (thanks to the internet),’ Louanne said.
Marina Thompson learns that you should never lie in dating, and men and women are still learning this today.
‘Embellishing your account, filtering your appearance, or telling a small white lie about your age or height, albeit seemingly trivial, means you could break the trust from the start,’ Louanne said.
This can make it far harder to create a healthy relationship, and as we learn from Marina, means you risk ruining a good relationship from the get go with the right person.
Daphne (pictured) and Simon regularly avoid the truth in a bid to avoid coming off as vulnerable, but Louanne said we shouldn’t see vulnerability as weakness in 2021
4. Vulnerability is not weakness
If you felt frustrated with Daphne and Simon at times and wished they would stop second guessing one another and just speak the truth, you were not alone.
But Louanne said not speaking your mind in a bid to avoid seeming vulnerable is as common in 2021 as it was in Bridgerton.
‘All it takes is for one person to let their guard down to allow the other to do the same,’ she said.
‘When Daphne and Simon finally communicate and express their feelings, they both acknowledge they “burn” for each other and show the power of vulnerability.’
The leading matchmaker explained that this scene teaches us that no matter the social situation, being brave and stripping away the facade to open up can take us out of “fight or flight” and let us truly listen to and express our feelings.
Louanne said your vulnerability is powerful, and it can be used as much today as it was back then.
Love knows no boundaries in 2021 or Bridgerton, as Anthony Bridgerton (pictured) finds when he falls in love with the ‘wrong’ woman
5. Love knows no boundaries
When Prince Friedrich comes into the mix in Bridgerton, it’s easy to assume that Daphne Bridgerton will go for him and live happily ever after.
But as anyone who has ever been in love will know, while someone might have it all on paper, a relationship is going nowhere if there is no spark.
‘True love looks beyond the romanticised idea of the person and into true compatibility like core values, emotional connection and life goals,’ Louanne said.
‘Simon and Daphne’s story teaches us that in a modern world where we judge love interests based on a 150-word profile, taking the time to get to know someone beyond their biography and photos can open us up to new opportunities with people we never would have initially considered.’
Surface-level attraction is never the foundation for a long-lasting relationship, as Daphne Bridgerton proves.
In 2021, Louanne said we should all take the time to get to know someone before we dismiss them.
You should never leave a past issue of bitterness to fester like Simon Basset (picture with Anthony), as they can quickly escalate into long-term problems when dating
6. Past issues must be resolved
Louanne said whether it’s the petticoat she wears or the way he is always on his phone, there will always be quirks about our partners that we dislike:
‘But issues left unspoken can quickly escalate into significant long-term problems that can destroy your happiness and your relationship,’ she said.
In Bridgerton, we see this played out through Simon’s bitterness towards his father and his vengeful deathbed promise that nearly cost him his relationship with Daphne.
‘It proves no matter the grievance the energy, turmoil, and negativity wasted harbouring resentment toward another hurts you more than them,’ Louanne said.
In the modern day, this means in your relationships you should always seek to address past pains, work to reconcile them in your life and ‘forgive the past rather than hold on to it’.
It will be difficult to move forward in any relationship without doing this.
The relationship expert said it’s worth remembering love is a decision – and you are free and have the power to choose whoever you want to give your love to (Bridgerton family pictured)
7. Love is a decision
Finally, the relationship expert said it’s worth remembering that love is a decision – and you are free and have the power to choose whoever you want to give your love to.
‘Even today people marry for reasons beyond love or learn to love someone they never intended to,’ Louanne said.
‘When Daphne was disclosing to her mother her plans to separate from Simon due to their poor communication and his dishonesty, Lady Violet reminded her of this by sharing the reason her late husband (Daphne’s father), made the marriage work was because of their decision to love each other every day, despite the trials they faced.’
Louanne said in both eras, every relationship will face challenges, and it therefore becomes a choice to commit to the hard times as well as the happy.
‘It’s a choice to look beyond the negatives, put effort and value into the relationship every day and commit to the good and the bad,’ Louanne said.